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seen by his experiments in p. 135 of his excellent work, entitled Nova Planta-
rum Genera, printed at Florence in the year 1729. He constantly observed
the seeds produce the same species, as in the more perfect plants.

A very worthy and learned member of this society. Dr. Haller, professor of
physic, botany, &c. in the university of Gottingen, in his excellent work pub-
Hshed last year, entitled Enumeratio Methodica Stirpium Helvetiae, tells us,
when treating of funguses, p. 34, that their seeds are produced in the laminae
of their concave side; as he has most evidently seen in the 35th, 50th, 73d,
and 107th species mentioned in his work ; which seeds are by nature, when
ripe, shaken from the plants, and, being sown, propagate their species. He
likewise mentions, that the seeds of different mushrooms vary in their colour,
some being blue, others green, white, &c.

The late Mr. Ray indeed mentions a fungus, discovered by his friend Mr.
Doody, which he calls, in his history of plants, vol. 3, p. 21, fungus seminifer
externe striatus ; and M. Tournefort, in his Institutiones Rei Herbariae, p. 56o,
takes notice of another species of this tribe, which he calls fungoides infundi
buli-forme semine faetum. M, Vaillant, in p. 57 of his Botanicum Parisiense,
gives a description and figures of the seeds of these two kinds. His words are
to this purport, when translated from the French : " Within the cavity," says
he, " of these plants, towards the bottom, are contained many seeds heaped
one upon another, cut on their superior surface somewhat like a triangle, broad
underneath, where they are connected to a little tendon, and are whitish."
Notwithstanding the high veneration he had for the opinions of these able bo-
tanists, he was satisfied the parts of these two plants, so imagined, are not
their seeds, but rather their suckers, stolones ; which, in most others of this
tribe, are produced from the root ; but from both these, as in many of the
kinds of lichen, and in the dentaria bulbifera, are produced from other parts of
the plant. Mr. W. observes, that in almost all plants, whose seeds are pro-
duced sparingly, or are difficult to be saved, Nature abundantly makes up that
deficiency, by the great increase of their roots, by which their species may
easily be propagated ; as is manifest in mushrooms, potatoes, crocuses, golden-



rods, starworts, and above all in the corona solis, flore parvo, tuberosa radice,
of M. Tournefort, vulgarly called Jerusalem artichokes, the seeds of which,
from the shortness of our summer, having never as yet ripened in England
He further adds, that though many species of mushrooms are eatable, and
some of them better flavoured than the common sort, the gardeners only pro-
pagate that sort with red gills, called, by way of excellence, champignon, a
name given by the French to all sorts of mushrooms ; but some descriptive
word is added to them, by which they may be distinguished from this. The
method of propagating mushrooms, according to the usual practice, from their
suckers, was first mentioned by La Brosse, in his treatise De la Nature des
Plantes, and afterwards by M. Tournefort, in the Memoirs of the Academy of
Sciences, Anno 1707, page 72.

Of the Disappearance of Saturjis Ring, in the Years 1743 and 1744. By M.
Godofred Heinsius, of Petersburg. N°471, p. 602.

This paper is of no use at present.

j^n Abstract of a Natural History of Greenland, by Hans Egede, entitled, Det
gamle Gronlands Ferlustrastion, eller Naturel Historic, af Hans Egede. Kio-
benhabn, 1741, Ato. Communicated by John Green, M.D. N°471, p. 607.

Greenland lies about 160 English miles west from Iceland, beginning at 59°
40' north latitude. Its east side stretches to Spitzbergen, in 78 to 80° latitude,
and believed to be an island separate from Greenland.

Its west side is known to 70° latitude. If Greenland is an island, or joined
to other countries, it is not known for a certainty, but probably joins to Ame-
rica on the north-west side : for between America and Greenland, stretches
the fretum, or bay, called in the sea-charts Davis's Straits, which is navigated
by them and other nations on account of the whale-fishery, but to the bottom
of this sound no ship has ever been.

Greenland is a high rocky country, which is always covered with ice and
snow, which never thaws except near the sea. The highest land can be seen
80 English miles from the sea. The whole coast is fortified with large and
small islands. It has several firths or rivers, which run a long way within land ;
among which is Baal's River, where the first Danish colony was fixed in 1721,
which runs 80 miles within land.

Greenland was first discovered by the Norwegians and Icelanders ; and the
brave Raude, who first discovered it in 982, praised it, and persuaded several
of his countrymen to inhabit it ; and .it the instance of Oluf Tryggeson, first
Christian king in Norway, carried a priest with him, who taught and baptized


all the inhabitants; and from time to time Greenland multiplied into new co-
lonies, many churches and abbeys were built, bishops and other teachers pro-
vided for : but the Norwegians were not the first inhabitants ; for they found
wild people on the west side, who doubtless were originally Americans. Tiie
present inhabitants probably are a race of the Schrellingers.

In 1721, a company of traders was set up in Bergen, with a royal privilege,
when king Frederic resolved to begin a colony at ti4°, with which Egede and
his family went, and continued 15 years. Their design was to find the eastern
district, as the best. A Hollander affirmed some of their ships had been there,
and found the land free from ice in 62°. This Mr. E. found to be true in

In the Bay of Hope there are many good places for feeding cattle, with
proper grounds for tillage, and good water : no trees, except within the rivers,
only brush-wood ; juniper-bushes abound here, whose berries are the size of
the largest peas. There are divers plants here, as angelica, rosemary, scurvy-
grass ; and a grass with yellow flowers, whose root smells like roses in the
Spring. In 60 and 65°, the country is best, and barley will ripen there: tur-
nips and colewort grow well ; especially the first, which are large, and of a
sweet taste.

There are rocks which produce verdigrise, as also sulphur or brimstone, mar-
casite ; and he found on an island one of a yellow brown sand, having cinna-
barine red veins. There are whole mountains of the asbestos. There is found
a grey stone, or bastard marble, of different colours. The sea produces several
sorts of conchs and mussels, also divers sorts of corallines.

The summer here lasts from May to September. The cold at 64° is mode-
rate, but at 68, &c. extreme, and will freeze brandy. The land is constantly
covered with ice and snow, except near the sea, and in the rivers. Though
the summer oft-times is warm in Greenland, it seldom or never thunders, &c.
The aurora borealis is so strong here towards new moon in clear weather, as
you may read by it.

Greenland produces bears, which live on the ice, and are dextrous at catch-
ing otters, seals, &c. Rain-deer are in great plenty. Hares are very large,
good, and white all the year. There are plenty of foxes. They have dogs,
none of which can bark, but only howl. Their birds are the ryper, or wood-
partridge, ravens, eagles, falcons, sparrows, goldfinches, &c. The mosquitoes
are very troublesome in July and August.

Besides whales, the seas produce the sword-fish, the whale's greatest enemy:
and when he kills one, eats nothing but his tongue, leaving the rest to the
shark, walross, and birds of prey. In these seas are cachelots or pot fish, a



sort of whales, their length from 50 to 70 feet. The white-fish are likewise in
these seas, like a whale, but without fins on the back. There is likewise a
small whale produced here called butts-kops ; as also unicorns of the whale
kind, which they call narval. The niser, or porpoise, is also in these seas ; as
also the walross, shaped like a seal, but much larger ; his flesh is like fat pork ;
his irreconcible enemy is the white bear. There are several sizes of seals, but
of the same shape, except the Klap-myss, which has a cartilaginous hood, that
covers his eyes. There are other fish, as sharks, holly-butts, red-fish, trout
salmon, bull-heads, stone biters, smelts, whitings, herrings, and a fish like a
bream, with pricks on its whole body. There are mussels, and some large
ones that produce the pearl : here also are shrimps, crabs, &c.

Among the sea-birds, are the edder ducks, of three kinds ; as likewise the
alker, and the tornauviarsuk, which has beautiful feathers, and the size of a
lark. There are also geese here. Greenland produces maws, redshanks, cor-
morants, lunders, parrots, sharvers, tersters, angle-tasters, snipes, &c.

The employments of the Greenlanders, on shore, are to shoot rain-deer •
and at sea to catch whales, seals, birds, &c. Their bow is about 6 feet long,
of tough fir, which they bind round with deer sinews : the arrow is pointed
with iron or bone. All the sort of fish they catch, and cannot eat fresh, they
dry against winter.

The boats are of two sorts ; one used only by the men, about three fathoms
in length, their breadth about 19 inches, with a hole in the middle, not larger
than one man, close-laced, can thrust himself into : with these boats they are
able to row 72 miles a day, using only one oar.

Their houses are of 1 sorts, winter and summer: the former are made of
turf and stone, from 4 to 6 feet high, flat roofed; on one side are the windows,
made of bleeched seal-guts, holly-butt maws, sewed together, and are suffici-
ently transparent; their doors are very low, by which they creep in on their
hands and knees. Their summer-houses are made by raising poles, which they
cover with young seal-skins.

Their language has no affinity with any known European one ; few words are
like the old Norwegian. It is difficult of pronunciation, as most of their words
are gutturals. It wants the letters c, d, f, g, x.

Some Observations on a Polype Dried. By Mr. Henry Baker, F. R. S.

N°471, p. 616.

Mr. Baker apprehending that if a polype could be dried, and well extended
before the microscope, some particulars in its structure might be distinguished
better than when it is viewed alive, and in water, he applied himself to attempt


it; and, after many trials, which were rendered fruitless by the minuteness and
extreme tenderness of the arms and other parts of this animal, that contract as
soon as taken out of water, and so cling together, as to become inseparable
afterwards, without being torn to pieces, he happened, at last, to hit on a me-
thod of performing the operation perfectly; which method he here explains, as
taken from his essay on this creature lately published, entitled the " Natural
History of the Polype;" where the description may be seen at p. 84.

Fig. 8, pi. 21, represents the polype, as dried and viewed by the microscope;
by which the following observations may be made: 1. As the body thus dried
exhibits a reticulation of minute vessels, which appear every where most curi-
ously interwoven, we may reasonably suppose they serve as veins and arteries,
through which some kind of blood or juices circulates, as in other animals.

2. The anus of the polype may be discovered very plainly in this dried
object ; whereas in a living one it requires much attention to see it in a satis-
factory manner.

3. The mouth, or opening between the arms, appears here like the mouth of
a sack or bag, which indeed the body does not badly represent.

4. By observing the arms thus dried, we obtain a clear idea of the means by
which this creature catches fast hold of its prey, the moment of its touching it,
and before it can bring its arms to clasp about it; for we plainly see here, that
the arms are thick beset with hairs, or rather sharp hooks, which possibly are
moveable, and can strike easily into the body of a tender worm. But these
hooks or hairs are not visible in the living animal; being then, perhaps, some
how or other generally drawn in, or laid flat and close along the sides of the
arms, as in some sorts of star-fish. Besides, the water wherein we are obliged
to view a polype, when alive, will not permit so strict an examination as it can
now be brought to.

^ Catalogue of the fifty Plants from Chelsea Garden, presented to the Royal
Society by the Company of Apothecaries, for the Year 1740, pursuant to the
Direction of Sir Hans Sloane, Bart. P. R. S. N° 47 1 , p. 620.

This is the IQth presentation of this kind, completing the number in all to
gSO plants.

Of the Transit of Mercury over the Sun, Oct. 31, 1736, and Oct. 15, 1743.
By Dr. Bevis. N''47l, p. 622. From the Latin.

In the following observations. Dr. Halley attended the clock, while Dr. Bevis
observed the transit with the 24-foot telescope. He began about 8 o'clock to
watch the commencement, but could see nothing in the sun besides spots.


Presently after the sun was covered with clouds. About 10 the clouds opened
for a moment, when Mercury was seen on the sun. About noon it began to
clear up, when Dr. B. renewed his application, and made the following obser-

Oct. 30^ 13^ 50" 45*App. time, the centre of Mercury was l' 18'' distant

from the sun's nearest limb, by the micrometer.
31 O 2 39 Mercury was about his own diameter distant from the
sun's limb.

7 4 the centre just emerged.

8 33 the exterior contact, the sky being very clear.

The diameter of Mercury was so small, that with the microscope it hardly
measured 10 seconds.

The transit of Oct. 25, 1743, he observed at Beaufort-buildings, situated
about half a minute of time west from the Royal Observatory. Mr. Sisson
counted the clock, while Dr. B. observed the sun.

At 8 in the morning nothing appeared on the sun, and he was soon after ob-
scured by clouds. At 10-^*^ he first saw the planet on the sun, the transit being
then nearly finished. About noon the sky cleared up again, and allowed the
Dr. to make the following observations.

Oct. 25"^ O** 58*" 34' app. time, the distance of their limbs was nearly equal

to Mercury's diameter.
1 O 33 the last interior contact.

1 25 thecentre just emerged.

2 l6 the last exterior contact.

The day before, a little after noon, he took the sun's diameter, equal
to 32' 27".

Mr. Bird made a good observation, near the beginning of the transit, in
Surrey-street, about l-f minute of time east of the Doctor's situation. He
perceived a very small thread of light between the sun and Mercury, which had
just entered, scarcely equalling a lOth of the planet's diameter, at 8'' 30™ 56%
that is, at 8*^ 30*" 544-' at Beaufort-buildings. Hence, Dr. B. infers the total
ingress at his situation to 8^ 30™ 40^ as nearly as possible

He therefore sets down the whole transit, as seen at Beaufort-buildings, as
follows :

Oct. 24'' 20*' 28"° 57' app. time, the first exterior contact.

the ingressus of the centre,
the first interior contact.
Oct. 25 1 O 33 the last interior contact.

the egressus of the centre,
the last exterior contact.


' 57'












Concerning a Child of a Monstrous Size. Bij Mr. Geoffroy, F. R.S. and Member
of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris. N° 471, p. 627.

Normandy furnished, some years since, a child, monstrous by its size, and
a strength which its age could not naturally afford. It was born at Rouen, and
is a prodigy of virility, of 3 years and 2 or 3 months of age, and is now in the
hospital at Rouen. It has a very large neck, the breast very broad, and the
belly larger than in its natural state. The upper part of the thighs is rather
thickish, the rest is conformable to its age. He has hair only about the privy
parts; the penis is 3 inches long when there is no erection, but of 6 when
there is. It has been found that he has emissions. The fact fs very true, and
M. le Cat. F. K. S. a surgeon at Rouen, has fully traced it out.

Two remarkable Medical Cases, one of an extraordinary Hcemorrhage, the other

an Ascites cured by Tapping. Communicated by Henry Banyer, M. D.

N°47i, p. 628.

In January 1729, Daniel Goddard, a gardener, about 24 years of age, at
Wisbech in the isle of Ely, received a slight puncture from a rusty nail in the
sole of his right foot. And, notwithstanding there was not wounded any
tendon, or blood-vessel, larger than small branches of veins, the whole foot
was immediately swelled to a very unusual degree, without any fever, or other
apparent cause for it. It was also attended with great pain, and an extraordi-
nary pulsation on the part, as in wounds of arteries, and so distended as if
the blood would burst out of its vessels.

After 2 days, on opening a superficial sinus, to enlarge the wound, there
rushed out immediately such an obstinate flux of blood, as would not yield to
any styptic means, longer than the bandage was held on by some strong hand.
And though, by this incision, no vessels were wounded, but capillary veins;
yet this haemorrhage continued as violent as at first, for 6 days successively,
whenever the necessary means were relaxed. On which, for the sake of revul-
sion, the patient had a vein opened on the arm of the opposite side; and it had
such a sudden and surprising effect, that the flux of blood in the foot instantly
ceased, and the wound healed very soon without any further trouble; but the
flux of blood, consequent on venesection, became equally as difficult to re-
strain, as that in the foot for the space of 4 days; all which time it would have
continued to flow most violently without the strictest bandage, or the same care
of the hand, as before. Perhaps the period of this haemorrhage might have
been much longer, if Dr. B. had not suffered the ligature on the arm to be
loosened now and then, as he judged the redundancy of blood required, for the


sake of some evacuation, at each time. After tlie bleeding, he soon recovered
his strength, so as to do his business in the gardens; and continued very well
till the month of March 1730. About the middle of this month, he com-
plained of sleepiness, and a particular heaviness all over his body; which was
followed, in 3 days time, by a violent haemorrhage from the nose. This flux,
in spite of all means being tried, except venesection, continued 7 days, and
could never be totally stopped, all this time, for 1 hour together. He reco-
vered again in a very short time, and was able to work in the summer season,
without any complaints, till October following. Then the haemorrhage returned
again at the nose, as before, with all the same circumstances, and in defiance
of all endeavours, continued the period of ^ days. Thus it returned in like
manner of bleeding, by stools, in the middle of March 1731, and continued
to discharge this way great quantities of blood, in one motion, and sometimes
two motions every day for 7 days together, in opposition to the most efficacious
restringents. Also it made its regular return by vast profusions of blood from
the intestines, in the beginning of October following, to the end of the first
period of 7 days, without gripings, or any such uneasy sensations. Thus again
it kept as orderly returns about the vernal and autumnal equinoxes of the years
1732, 1733, with vast profusions of blood by stool, for the usual term of 7
days, agreeing in all circumstances with the preceding years. Likewise at, or
very near these two grand seasons, in the years 1734, 1735, this habitual
haemorrhage broke away by the kidneys and urinary passage; and still con-
stantly, for these 1 years, kept its old stated time of 7 days, without any other

This young man was seized in Dec. 1735, with the small-pox, of the dis-
tinct kind, which produced such a change in his constitution, that he escaped
those periodical haemorrhages, or any other spontaneous equivalent evacuations,
for the two seasons of the year 1736; and remained in very good health till
Christmas following, being above 13 months free from any symptoms of his old
eruption. But, Dec. '27, without any previous notice of heaviness and sleepi-
ness, the haemorrhage returned by the urinary passages, but much more favour-
ably, and continued only 3 days. Again, on May the 13th following, 1737,
he then felt the previous warnings, and bled again by urine to the 20th of the
same month; with this difi^erence, that for 3 days the urine was only coffee-
coloured, but afterwards, for 4 days longer, every discharge resembled an effu-
sion of blood from a vein just opened. He presently recovered his strength,
even though the air was exceedingly warm at this time; and the Doctor saw him
5 months after, very robust and healthy, and free from all kinds of tendency to-
wards his old complaint. But he had always the appearance of too much


fulness, though his constitution did not suffer so much as might reasonably
be imagined, from such profuse haemorrhages. He had no return of his
bleeding, or any thing like it, the ensuing autumn; but remained perfectly well
all the following winter season. Afterwards the Doctor had no opportunity of
making further personal inquiries, but was informed by an intelligent man, that
in March 1738 this unfortunate person got a slight wound again, somewhere
on one of his legs, which proved equally as difficult, with respect to the flux of
blood, as the first puncture in his foot. And, whether from too strict a restraint
of the haemorrhage, or for want of venesection, he fell into very violent con-
vulsions for 4 or 5 days, and died in a manner like suffocation, from too much
redundancy of blood.

As this haemorrhage never once depended on any other disteinper, or observed
any regular concurrence with the revolutions of the moon, it appears to be a
very extraordinary simple plethora. During the 4 years that this flux of blood
came from the nose and intestines, the urine was never of a higher colour than
amber; nor was there any symptom of a fever by the pulse, or otherwise, for
the whole term of the disorder.

March the 26th, 1739, the wife of Mr. Matth. Wilkinson, of Long Sutton,
in Lincolnshire, was tapped for an ascites, proceeding from frequent haemor-
rhages, and a too liberal use of small liquors. She was between 30 and 40
years old, of a very low stature, and always of a weak constitution. The water
was all taken away at one time, and measured 3 gallons. She was very faint
immediately after the operation, and remained so for near 3 weeks after. But,
by great abstinence from liquids, excepting Lower's bitter infusion, and some-
times a spoonful or two of cordial julep, she perfectly recovered her health
again ; and to a much better degree of it than she had enjoyed for many years
before; without any appearance at all of a return of the abdominal tumour.
The water was clear, and readily turned to a strong jelly on heating it; and Dr.
B. was certain, there was unavoidably left in the abdomen a quantity sufficient
to prove the existence of absorbent vessels. Perhaps those patients, in this
distemper, whose water turns to a jelly, have a better chance to be cured by
paracentesis, than others, whose discharge is more like urine, and will never
curdle by heat. But time and repeated observation must confirm this opinion.

Concerning certain Chalky Tubulous Concretions, called Malm; tvith some Micro-
scopical Observations on the Farina of the Red Lilly, andof fVorms discovered
in Smutty Corn. By Mr. Turbevil Needham. N°471, p. 634.
The bed of malm lies in a valley, at the foot of a long ridge of chalky downs;

extends from Winchester, where it begins, almost due south, about 4 miles


the breadth not above a quarter of a mile ; and depth, at a mean computation,
about 5 feet. It is used in manure for the same purposes as chalk is, but
answers the intent much better. It rises up in one continued bed, almost to
the surface ; where a thin layer of common earth but just hides it in places,
where continual cultivation has not superinduced a new soil. The whole bed
consists of separate detached pieces, and of several dimensions, mostly long

Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 84 of 85)